League: Kasiano only Kiwi in world team

Sam Kasiano. Photo / Getty Images
Sam Kasiano. Photo / Getty Images

Canterbury Bulldogs prop Sam Kasiano was the only New Zealander selected in the World XIII team announced today by Rugby League World magazine.

Kasiano played an integral role as the Bulldogs won the NRL minor premiership, being named prop of the year at the Dally M awards, but he could not prevent them from losing the grand final to Melbourne.

The 22-year-old also made his debut for the Kiwis in the end-of-year test against the Kangaroos, putting an end to an eligibility storm which saw the prop become caught in a tug-of-war between his native New Zealand and Australia.

No other New Zealanders were named in the world team, reflecting a poor year for the Kiwis and the New Zealand Warriors. The Kiwis lost both tests against the Kangaroos this year, while the Warriors languished in the bottom half of the NRL ladder for much of the season before finishing 14th.

Seven players - Billy Slater, Greg Inglis, Ryan Hall, Johnathan Thurston, James Graham, Cameron Smith and Paul Gallen - retained their places in the side, chosen annually by the game's worldwide media.

World XIII
Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm), Brett Morris (St George-Illawarra Dragons), Greg Inglis (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Josh Morris (Canterbury Bulldogs), Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos), Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys), Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm), James Graham (Canterbury Bulldogs), Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm), Sam Kasiano (Canterbury Bulldogs), Nate Myles (Gold Coast Titans), Sam Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Paul Gallen (Cronulla Sharks).

- APNZ

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